Richard Vine reviews Alisa Kwitney’s Sandman, King of Dreams for the 20 September The Guardian:
Don’t fear the reaper – it’s her brother you’ve got to worry about.
That’s the message of Neil Gaiman’s essential comic book, The Sandman, which gets a loving, exhaustive and informed tribute in The Sandman: King Of Dreams, from assistant editor Alisa Kwitney.
A cross between a primer and retrospective, King Of Dreams traces its history from the inside, reprinting panels, Gaiman’s notes, and artists’ sketches. Over its 2,000-page run, this epic told the story of Morpheus, an immortal caught in a complex, political saga with his six siblings, including perky sister Death.
Featuring serial killer conventions, delusional superheroes and a Devil who’s bored of running Hell, its influence can still be seen today in similarly out-there works like Fables and Alan Moore’s Promethea.
If there are goth sensibilities, with Death and Dream spending eternity in all-black ensembles, it’s more Cocteau Twins than the Mission, with Dave McKean’s distinctive cover art lending a classy, lush 4AD sensibility. A perfect primer for The Sandman: Endless Nights, a new collection, out in October.